SNAPSHOT: EPA R-22 Rulings
January 7, 2010
January 1, 2010 saw
the first day of enactment of the final rules regarding HCFC-22 equipment
installation and servicing. (See Dec. 28, 2009 issue of The NEWS, for the complete story.) No huge surprises resulted, but
after almost a full year of uncertainty, it is nice to know that the sky will
not actually fall in the New Year.
In a nutshell: No
inventory problems for equipment or components; contractors can set R-22
systems for up to two years in new construction installations that are
grandfathered if a building permit was in place before 2010; and servicing of
existing R-22 systems will remain uninterrupted.
The only urgency
evidenced by the Environmental Protection Agency was regarding the allocation
of R-22. Manufacturers can produce 110 million pounds of virgin R-22 during
2010, followed by greater reductions each year through 2014.
What this means to
Joe Contractor is that the government is serious about moving the industry
toward more use of reclaimed refrigerant.
There are not many
things about this industry that I don’t admire. Great people, honest work - important work that impacts the health and
lives of million of people throughout the world. However, the fact that the
industry only recycles less than 5 percent of the HCFCs that could potentially
be reused in the United States is troubling.
Aside from getting through a weak economy, refrigerant
recycling may be the next big hurdle.